The Flag was Down but the Pole’s Still Up Missus !

Banbury Piranhas 5 Windsor 1

Well Liz was out as she’d left the flag down at the Castle – no doubt she’d nipped out for a crafty Christmas shop whilst Phil was off down the pub for the afternoon. There was a pre Christmas extravaganza sale on at SovereignLand  in Windsor (Windsor’s version of PoundLand), and Liz was determined to make the most of the super deals as, to be fair, she has a huge extended family now, and Phil needed perking up after his flag hadn’t been raised for quite some time (which is a Royal euphemism).

Anyway whilst Liz was out bagging seasonal bargains the Piranhas were back to winning ways with an away win over Windsor mens 2s. The teams average age dropped again to toddler level  as only Captain Camp, Mervyn Long  and Matt Allman represented (albeit Allman could be mistaken for an adult toddler –  incontinence and uncontrolled dribbling being his speciality).

The game started fairly evenly with each team probing each others vulnerabilities (a favourite pastime of Matt Allman). But it was the Piranhas who probed the hardest winning a penalty corner which Luke Fraser flicked into the Windsor goal for a 1-0 lead.

The back line of captain Camp, Long, Ollie Webb and Finley McEvoy then soaked up the Windsor back lash with Jamie Lamb in goal making the odd save. The attacks fizzled out and the Banbury midfield of Matt Allman, Joe Whinmill, Luke Fraser and Charlie Camp started to dominate play. Chris Atkins worked well up front with young Sam Baldry and Thomas Allman and it wasn’t long before another sustained attack led to the second Fraser goal which he deftly flicked into the top of the Windsor net. The Piranhas were now in complete control – that was until the Windsor umpire decided to card one of the youngest players on the pitch (Charlie Camp) after he accidentally tapped one of the Windsor men’s sticks on a 50/50 ball. Strangely the hammering the piranha sticks were getting went unnoticed. At one point there was that much stick hitting going on  we did wonder if we were playing the Windsor Morris Men or there was a flock of demented Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers hammering away at a “bring your own lump of wood woodpecker rave”.

The ten Piranhas held firm and were especially pleased when their sole sub, Adam Bailey, turned up after doing a tour of the castle and Lego Land. Despite this disadvantage the piranhas scored a 3rd goal when Captain Camp hammered a long pass to Fraser on the halfway line who fed the ball to Atkins who ran around 4 Windsor defenders and slotted goal number 3 home. His goal celebration resembled Adam Bailey’s tour of the castle and Lego Land….

The umpire graciously allowed Charlie Camp back on the pitch and goal number 4 turned up when after good work down the right by Ollie Webb led to Fraser twisting the Windsor defence inside out and hammering the ball across the goal which unfortunately (for Windsor) hit a foot and deflected into their goal.

At this point and at 4-0 up after 25 minutes the Piranhas took their fishy fins off the accelerator and allowed Windsor back into the game when poor marking allowed their striker to slot a deft shot past Jamie Lamb.

All this did was galvanise the Piranhas into playing more pass and move attack hockey with the youngsters Charlie Camp, Finley McEvoy,  Sam Baldry, Thomas Allman and Ollie Webb all playing an active part. It was Fraser who got the 5th before half time with a shot hammered against the Windsor back board.

Both teams retired for half time….so with 6 goals in the first half the adrenalin crazed crowd waited  with baited breath  for yet another goal fest for the second half – but what was delivered couldn’t have been more different. Apart from a truly bizarre 5 minute lecture given by the Windsor umpire to Atkins and Fraser on how not to smile (after 3 minutes captain Camp did ask the other umpire what was going on – to which he replied “I think he’s writing an essay”).

Windsor then parked the bus (not even with the handbrake off) and the Piranhas ran blindly into it for 35 minutes …..it was less riveting than an evening at the Annual Actuary Association Ball and as dull as a holiday in Runcorn. The most interesting event being the failure of the Windsor umpire to blow his whistle properly at the end of the match. He blew it with the conviction  of an asthmatic octogenarian after a wedding night with a bride 40 years younger (Rupert Murdoch & Gerry Hall come to mind….) when the game staggered and gasped to a close – he was too bored to blow it frankly.

Anyway – the Piranhas bagged 3 away points and Liz bagged a bargain for Phil which would mean his flag would be up the pole that night (it’s a royal euphemism).

Next week we face West Hampstead at home – Allman may start getting festive with his Roadkill Teas?